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Introducing Our New "Soar" High School Program
- Meeting students where they are: providing connection, compassion, and flexibility; and helping students discover who they are and pursue their passions.
- Educating for a better world: teaching students about social justice, sustainability, and how to care for themselves, their communities, and our Planet Earth.
So, in that light, we are excited to announce the newest incarnation of our high school offering, the Soar Program. We’ve been gradually building this in the background for several years, with some students doing a similar program with excellent results. Now we’re ready to launch officially!
As you might guess from the name, the intent is to support students in finding what they are really interested in and helping them soar. We aim to facilitate a compelling and engaging experience that opens students’ hearts and minds to all that life has to offer. We believe that curiosity is our lifelong pathway to transformative experiences. At GVS, we foster engagement through the unfolding of interest-based learning. We believe that education should nurture autonomy, curiosity, confidence, open-mindedness, and resilience as well as develop a sense of social responsibility and global citizenship. GVS supports all learners in authoring their own lives and learning.
The Soar Program is a collaboration among students, their parents or mentor, and their Global Village teacher. It is an opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma in a highly personalized manner that allows learners to pursue their passions while fulfilling GVS’s graduation requirements. A diploma from Global Village School signifies to the world (particularly colleges) that a graduate meets GVS academic and personal standards. It is proof that the student has met our Schoolwide Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
How does the Soar high school homeschooling program work?
The Soar Program is very similar in structure to our K-8 program. Soar students have one GVS teacher/mentor to support their studies, and there is great flexibility built into the program. We encourage students to be very self-directed in their studies as they work towards earning an accredited high school diploma. We support students to make curriculum choices that are genuinely meaningful to them, becoming seeds of inspiration which enlarge their curiosity and impact in the world. A key difference between the K-8 program and the Soar program is that much more detailed documentation is required in high school.
One teacher, twice-monthly meetings: You will be paired with a GVS teacher who will be your learning journey companion. We believe that people learn everywhere, in every moment, and that learning is enriched and amplified through conversations and relationships. During the semi-monthly meetings with their GVS teacher students will share their work, project samples, learning progress, and documentation of activities and hours, and will be guided in weaving their studies toward meeting GVS’s graduation requirements.
Parents play a very important role: In addition to collaborating with the GVS teacher, parents and mentors will be very involved in the learning process, acting as the primary teachers. The home teachers will become familiar with GVS’s graduation requirements as they plan and support their learners in their studies. An amicable, collaborative, and respectful relationship between students and their home teachers is critical to their educational success. The GVS teacher coaches and empowers parents and mentors alongside our students. These relationships foster a deepened awareness of the student’s integrated goals, interests, and skills related to their learning.
Curriculum options: There are as many ways to meet the course requirements for graduation as there are students who enroll in the courses! Students can choose from Global Village School’s extensive courses and curriculum resources, propose their own ideas, participate in local mentorships and workshops, or choose from the many excellent classes and materials increasingly being offered by institutions around the world, both online and face to face. (The Soar tuition fee includes some GVS curriculum guides; see details in the cost section below.)
A 4-year program with 12-month enrollment periods: The Soar program has a 10-month academic year, with the freedom to continue documenting activities of choice during break times. Students really never stop learning, even when they are not officially “doing school,” so we provide the opportunity to continue earning credits—such as PE, music, art, and other creative endeavors—while they are “off.” They can also continue with their academics for the full 12 months if they wish, but often students wisely choose to give their minds a break from the more rigorous academics. Partially completed courses can be carried over into the following year.
Graduation requirements: Students meet all the GVS graduation requirements in their own unique ways.
Soar Senior Project: This project is a culminating, self-designed undertaking that invites each student to explore their curiosities and interests while utilizing their strengths and talents. Each 12th Grade student collaborates with their GVS teacher and home teacher to design their project.
Schedule: We are a year-round school. While our standard school year runs from September to June, students can enroll at any time of the year and can continue working through the summer if they wish. The high school program assumes a four-year course of studies, but students who want to accelerate their progress are free to do so.
Official records and diplomas: When you enroll in Global Village School you become part of an accredited private school. We will maintain all student records and provide written evaluations, an annual transcript review, and a diploma upon high school graduation. Our staff sends official copies of student transcripts to the schools of their choice. Students can be enrolled in another educational program concurrently with their time at GVS. There is no additional fee for being dual enrolled, and students can choose from which school they wish to graduate (assuming they have met the graduation requirements).
Assessment/grading/evaluations: GVS teachers do not “grade*” student work in the traditional sense. Our approach is more collaborative; students, parents, and the GVS teacher work together to assess the work in relation to the student’s goals. Students receive a written evaluation at the end of each year. Letter grades are optional; families can request “pass/fail” grading if they prefer.
"I had thought that kids couldn’t learn without being in a classroom. She is finding math really easy now…I was a nervous wreck about doing this and now I’m so glad I did. She’s learning so much more. Her learning has increased exponentially...That just wasn’t happening in the classroom. I’m very thrilled that we’re doing this...I’m stunned. I never imagined that it would be like this. Where did we get the idea that we had to turn over our kids to strangers?"
What if school encouraged you to find what you love and to learn it well?
What does a typical Soar student’s year look like?
Soar students keep detailed logs of their activities. They can choose to follow the GVS curriculum guides as written, adapt them to meet their own interests and needs, take courses in their community or at a local college, choose from the many courses created by educational institutions around the world, and/or create their own course of study.
Soar parents are actively involved with their students’ coursework. Parents, guardians, and tutors assist with documentation, planning, scheduling, reviewing their work, discussing what they’re learning, helping them pursue what they’re excited about, etc.
Examples of coursework that students have taken/created include piano, composition, film scoring, filmmaking and editing, project planning and collaboration, photo editing, photography, screenwriting, music technology, film reviewing, animal ethology, animal husbandry, personal finance, dog agility training, psychology, Buddhist studies, astronomy, Shakespeare, world literature, American literature, writing, architecture, interior design, permaculture, graphic design, challenge course-building internship, figure skating, mountain biking, swimming, parkour, business, horseback riding, Welsh, Latin, Spanish, ASL, music appreciation, service learning, life skills, US history through film, British literature, computer science, website development, aviation, economics/business, math/programming/coding, sociology, film studies, game development (gaming research, styles of storytelling, strategies, problem solving/problem based learning), history of gaming, geography/travel, health and nutrition, 3D art, guitar, college algebra, flight simulator, the history of rockets, strategic thinking, and home economics.
Some students create a regular daily schedule; others set weekly goals. Some do a different academic course each day; others prefer to do a little bit of several courses each day. Some do academics in the morning and other activities in the afternoons. Some start their day with several hours of art or music, while others like to do their physical activities first. Most students experiment with their scheduling quite a bit and refine it as they learn what works best.
The main thing that Soar students have in common is that they are free to pursue their interests and weave them into their academics as much as they want. (For example, students can focus their geography studies through a particular lens such as music, art, food, or fashion.) In the Soar Program, GVS suggests methods of documentation which allow the student to move through learning experiences with as little or as much structure as they prefer.
What kinds of students and families are a good fit for the Soar Program?
This program requires a secure, stable, and consistent collaborative connection between the student and their home teacher.
Questions for students:
Questions for parents:
How much does the Soar Program cost?
The Soar Program tuition fee is $6,795.
The tuition fee includes:
Families purchase texts and other materials on their own. Any Global Village individual courses other than what’s listed above are additional. (Please see our curriculum page for prices and details for each course.)
Sales tax (CA residents only) and shipping and handling are additional.
There are additional fees for new students and 12th graders:
- Application Interview Fee: Students who are new to the GVS high school homeschooling program pay a one-time Application Interview Fee of $100. This fee covers some of the cost of the application review, interview, and transcript review. This fee is non-refundable.
- Senior fee: There is an increased amount of administrative work associated with a graduating student. The Senior Fee of $325 ($425 for international students) applies to all 12th grade students. This fee is non-refundable.
"I have looked over the two or three lessons you've emailed to me in the past months and they were impressive. I liked the way you respond to each question in a way that encourages and inspires her to elucidate/expand on the concept. She takes them to mind when she's formulating her responses, and she shares them with me, which she was never likely to do in the past.
So, thank you for your excellence! It is acknowledged and valued."
Amanda , HS parent
Learn more about Global Village School's accredited distance learning program
We hope you enjoy exploring the wealth of information we've shared about the Global Village School homeschooling program.
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Celebrating Diversity: We believe that every student has the right to receive an education in a safe, supportive environment. We welcome people regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, age, sex, gender, or disability. We celebrate the richness and diversity of our world and invite you to do the same.
Global Village School® is a project of Community Partners, a non-profit organization.